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Nanny who saved Israeli boy during Mumbai attack honored in Israel

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Israel honors heroic Indian nanny
  • Samuel: "I would give my heart and soul for Israel"
  • She has been caring for the boy since his parents died in an attack on Chabad House in India
  • She found the boy standing between his parents' bodies

Jerusalem (CNN) -- The Indian nanny who saved the life of an Israeli boy during the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 has been granted honorary citizenship and temporary residency in Israel.

At a ceremony Monday, the Israeli interior ministry in Jerusalem handed Sandra Samuel her identity card.

"I hope I will honor the citizenship and love Israel. I would give my heart and soul for Israel," she said.

Samuel has been caring for the boy, Moshe Holtzberg, since his parents died in the terror attacks on a Jewish cultural center, Chabad House, and several luxury hotels in India's financial capital.

They were among six people who were killed at Chabad House. Altogether, more than 160 people died in the attacks.

Video: Moshe's Tale : Part 1
Video: Moshe's Tale : Part 2

During the raids, 10 men also attacked buildings including the luxury Taj Mahal Palace and Tower and Oberoi-Trident hotels and the city's Chhatrapati Shivaji train station.

The only surviving gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani, was convicted of murder, conspiracy, and waging war.

Moshe's father, Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, and his pregnant wife, Rivka, ran the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad community -- a Hasidic Jewish movement.

Samuel, who worked as a cook and nanny at the Chabad House, found Moshe -- who turned 2 just after the attacks -- standing between the bodies of his slain parents.

She returned to Israel and has continued to care for the boy, helping his grandparents to raise him.

"Sandra Samuel stepped into the fire and abyss and did not think of herself," said Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, Moshe's grandfather, at the ceremony. "She saved Moshe from the fire and we as Jews must thank and respect her."

CNN's Michal Zippori contributed to this report.